Why I Watch Ecchi

Fair Warning

The following includes profanity, sexual themes, and possibly a risque image or two.  If you are under aged, prudish beyond belief, or believe that a sky wizard disapproves of nakedness then this is not the BrOtaku post for you.  Friday might be a little more light, so check back then.

Peace out.

Since we’re a little past the middle point of summer I thought I’d visit a topic that’s been rolling around my otherwise anime, video game, and booze filled head.  Ecchi.   There are at least 4 shows that I can list this season that can be categorized as mostly ecchi, and I have been enjoying the hell out of 3 of them.  I have noticed however, that a large number of the otaku community point to shows like SHIMONETA and Monster Musume, and shout, “This is what’s wrong with anime,” or , “This is what’s killing the anime industry!”  I decided to take this anime discussion head by trying to explain why I enjoy ecchi so much.

How can you dislike Monster Musume?!?

First off let me answer the pressing question everyone is asking.  WTF is wrong with you? Oh shit, wrong question!  I mean, “What is ecchi?”  The word, whether used as a noun/adjective/verb, usually indicates some variant of perverse (naughty, dirty, etc).  It stands to reason then that an ecchi anime is a more risque anime, that usually involves a heavy amount of comedy elements.  There can also be smaller ecchi moments in otherwise serious anime like “Black Lagoon”. Ecchi itself doesn’t suggest a level of depravity on par with “hentai”, and that is why we differentiate ecchi anime from hentai pornography.

This show comes close to hentai though.

Now that I’ve bored, and thus lost, half my audience let’s move on to the original question.  Why do I like ecchi?  I could give the typical answer of “because boobs”, but that doesn’t satisfy my word count so let’s do some digging.  I’m sure that my early love for ecchi came from my first harem animes.  The comedy brought about by romantic tension, and somewhat perverse situations was a revolution to me during the time when the slapstick comedy of american cartoons was beginning to wear thin on me.  The “ecchi” of the 90’s was light at best (compared to today), but served (along with fantastic Miyazaki Films and Toonami) to spark my interest in anime as a whole.

Now that I’ve grown into (what some could mistake for) an adult, you’d think that after witnessing almost 20 years of anime I’d be sick of all the harem/ecchi.  After all that seems to be the way the anime wind is blowing, what with the majority of otaku media decrying ecchi as nothing but troupes and teenage humor.  What keeps me interested, aside from the amusement of potty humor and dick jokes, is the stories. WAIT! WAIT, DON’T LEAVE! Allow me to explain myself before you laugh yourself out of my website!

I promise I have something resembling a point!

SHIMONETA (for example) is this season’s premier ecchi set in a Japan that has abolished even the use of “dirty/bad” words.  They use throat/wrist monitors to find and condemn perverse speech and they can even monitor wrist movement to censor perverse art.  In this world the students of the main character’s high school are so laughably ignorant about their own genitals, that one could be forgiven for scoffing at this as a stupid fantasy.  You see in the show as well that the most repressed of the student body also seem to be the most sexually deviant.

Anna = Best Sexual Deviant 2015.  Too soon to call?

Outrageous, no?  Sensationalist!  Nothing like this could ever happen!  Except in some ways it has.  Though Japan enjoys freedom of expression under article 21 of their constitution , it’s not unheard of for hentai manga artists to be scrutinized under article 175 (the obscenity law).  In fact in 2002, Suwa Yuuji and Motonori Kishi were both convicted for distribution of the hentai manga Misshitsu (Honey Room).  Suwa was fined 500k yen, and Motonori was given one year in prison until he appealed to the Tokyo District Court and got a 1.5 Million Yen fine instead!  This happened again in 2013 when 3 editors from Core Magazine were charged of having sexual content that wasn’t adequately censored in their publication!  The three pleaded guilty rather than fight a protracted legal battle, but doesn’t this fly in the face of their freedom of expression?

Honey Room by Suwa Yuuji, Published APR 2002

I can see parallels there in the “SHIMONETA” and “My Wife Is the Student Council President” shows of this season.  It stands to reason that ecchi/hentai artist would be a little on edge around a government that uses one part of its constitution to negate another in the name of “decency”.  Now those are only two shows, and I can already hear people saying so.  Well what about immigration reform and Monster Musume?  In 2013 Hidenori Sakanaka proposed that Japan look outside of its borders to attract young professionals to help the population decline of their country.  Sakanaka-san was promptly shut down, but the idea of the inter-species act of Moster Musume sounds similar to his proposal.

I’m sure there are some ecchi that are just for fun, but I think you get the point.  Ecchi is people anime. Real-ish people, in risque caricature.  Plus these comedic tales of human nature nicely offset the drama anime like “Clanaad” and “Your Lie in April”, or the slice of life anime like “Usagi Drop” and “Non Non Biyori”.  These give (me at least) a nice balance of merriment and melancholy.  Even if you manage to convince me that I’m just polishing a perverted turd here though, the one crucial message that ALL ecchi conveys is, “People like sex, sex sells, and the prudes of the world need to get the fuck over it”!

Dekomori says, “Fuck off desu!”

Sorry that got a little wordy for my audience.  What do you think?  Am I putting a shine on bullshit, or is there artistic legitimacy to the suggestive genre of ecchi?  Let me know in the comments here or on my various social medias found on the Contact Me Page.   Look forward to a new Youtube video whenever I get around finishing it, but I’m also trying to catch up to some of this season’s anime so… yeah.  Well this has been a fun one to research and write.  Till Friday…

Arigatō my fellow BrOtaku!

Image Sources:

Peace Kise Yayoi

【Comicリュウ9月号】モン娘のいる日常【巻頭カラー】 Artist: オカヤド@乾武丸

健全な付き合いを Artist: 5番目の迷い猫

リクエスト Artist: 幻想閻魔@砂漠中

High School DxD Gif

SHIMONETA Screenshots

Misshitsu (Honey Room) Cover

【単行本】モンスター娘のいる日常【発売!】 Artist:オカヤド@乾武丸

(=_=)凸 守早苗 Artist: 電磁砲二期

Web Sources:

Wikipedia – Censorship in Japan

CBLDF.org “Core Magazine Pleads Guilty in Japanese Obscenity Case” by Betsy Gomez. DEC 20, 2013

Obscenity and Article 175 of the Japanese Penal Code: A Short Introduction to Japanese Censorship

The Japan Times Community “Japan’s ‘no immigration principle’ looking as solid as ever” by Chris Burgess. JUN 18, 2014

Carlos
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About the author

Carlos

A gamer, otaku, and booze enthusiast. I pursue writing for the love of my interests, and the joy of sharing them with others. I am currently studying Journalism at my local community college.

Readers Comments (5)

  1. I just like shouting the word “OPPAI!”

    It makes me feel like I’m at a fancy Jewish party

  2. Let’s call it Greek Jews. OPPAI!

  3. I always got a burlesque vibe from ecchi. Its the subtle art of seduction rather than blatant pornography. Which, I have no problem with either, but sometimes you need the slow cook rather than the flash fry. as it were… lol.

    • I can see the that. There’s definitely a comedy element to awkward sexuality that’s completely different from the salaciousness of out right hentai. What’s weirdly funny is when you get hentai that has that ecchi comedy in it. Am I supposed to get a comedy boner? Still I love titles like Buttobi CPU for that (anyone under 18 DO NOT look that title up).

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